I was fifteen when I first had sex. It was with my first real boyfriend, and it hurt so much I cried. It was a splitting sensation — it hurt so badly that any sane person would never want to experience it again. However, it was me who didn’t want to wait, it was me who bought the condoms and it was me who re-initiated every time, only to assume a fetal position in pain after it was over. My preoccupation with sex continues to baffle me — especially because I wasn’t a very sexual person.
It’s a long night in Collegetown, I’m batting my eyes, flirting with a few guys. I just got a number, and this one particular guy eyeing me at this bar has this dark mysterious aura surrounding him (maybe it’s just the fact that he’s wearing all black and alone). I go up to him, speak in a low, sultry voice, and after a few minutes ask him to come back to my place. Of course, he’s surprised, this is typically the guy’s part, why would I skip the flirting that most girls require? Why am I so hungry to have him over?
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a horny appetite, must be in want of a sexual partner. So, when you have the two horny parties present, what is left to be construed is the nature of this interaction, and along with this, the very important concept of power. Let me just clarify before I begin to explore this issue further that I am always talking about consensual interactions where power-play is a form of enjoyment for both parties present. Power can very easily be broken down to “This makes me feel good. I want this,” and that is where control comes in.
When thinking about power and hierarchies, I of course have to distinguish between the “have” and the “have nots.” That’s how many systems, especially in the United States, are set up. There is usually someone who has power and authority over others who are deemed “inferior.” It’s a concept that is applicable to multiple situations like the power a mayor has over his citizens, the patriarchal power a man has over a woman and even the power a teacher has over a student. These types of hierarchies have become inherent to us, so it can be hard to really notice or question them even if you’re aware of power dynamics. From my own experiences, I find these structures damaging to my own well-being as well as others who are deemed “less powerful.”
Often those in power and on the higher end of the hierarchy do not necessarily realize what their actions, language and even lack of action may cause. It’s due to some kind of disconnect where they don’t really consider the lives they may be affecting as long as they aren’t directly in front of them.